Here "servant" means, literally, slave. The difference is important, as we shall see in the picture presented to us of the centurion's character.
There are several mentions of these Roman military officers in the Gospels and Acts, and in every instance the mention is a favourable one. Still more notable instances occur in the case of Cornelius - to whom Peter was specially sent (Acts 10, 11.) - of the centurion who was on guard at the execution on Calvary, and of the centurion who conveyed Paul to Rome (Acts 27:1-3). On these Gentile soldiers "the faith and life of Judaism (seen, we may well believe, to more advantage in the village life of Galilee than amid the factions of Jerusalem) had made a deep impression: he found a purity, reverence, simplicity, and nobleness of life which he had not found elsewhere, and so he loved the nation, and built a new one of the synagogues of the town" (Dean Plumptre).
The centurion was apparently one of those foreigners who - without submitting to circumcision and other burdensome ceremonial rites which were incompatible with the exercise of his profession - had accepted the faith of Israel, and worshipped with the people in the position of one who, in another age, would have been termed a "proselyte of the gate." He was evidently one of those true-hearted men who translated a beautiful creed into acts, for it was specially urged by the elders, in their petition to Jesus, that he loved the people, no doubt emphasizing his generous almsgivings, and, as a crowning act of his kindness, had built a synagogue Capernaum. Modern travellers tell us that among the ruins of this city of Jesus are the remains of a white marble synagogue of the time of the Herods. This may have been the Roman soldier's noble gift to Israel.
The whole character of this nameless officer seems to have been singularly noble. In those selfish days of undreamed-of luxury, cruelty, and heartlessness, for a master to care for, much less to love, a slave was, comparatively speaking, rare. From his message to Jesus (ver. 7) it would seem as though he had a clearer conception who the poor Galilaean Teacher was than any one else at that period of the public ministry, not excluding the inner circle of disciples.
(Excerpt from the Pulpit Commentary)
When Creator Sets Free (Jesus) was finished speaking to the people, he went to the Village of Comfort (Capernaum).
A head soldier of the People of Iron had a servant he cared deeply about, who was sick and near death. When the head soldier heard about Creator Sets Free, he asked some elders from the tribes of Wrestles With Creator (Israel) to go to him and ask him to heal the servant.
The elders found Creator Sets Free and begged him to help the head soldier. "He is a man of honor who loves our nation and has built a gathering house for us. He is worth helping."
So Creator Sets Free followed them.
Luke 7:1-6 FNV